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Goodbye Gus - Printable Version

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Goodbye Gus - deanace - 05-28-2011 10:05 PM

The final VW T3 Microbus came off the production line, after being built at the Uitenhage plant for more than 20 years.

The final Volkswagen T3 Microbus came off the production line on Friday, after being built at the Uitenhage plant for more than 20 years.

It was a gold-painted Microbus 2,6i. So popular was the T3 Microbus that it became part of local motoring folklore - even the name "Kombi" has for many become a generic term for any minibus. More than 265 000 of these vehicles have been built in South Africa.

Managing Director Hans-Christian Maergner, speaking at a special function to mark the end of production of the T3 Microbus, said that it was with "a hint of sadness and nostalgia" that the T3 Microbus era had drawn to a close at Volkswagen South Africa.

"In many ways, the T3 Microbus holds a special place, not only in the hearts of the people, like our employees, who have worked on building this South African icon over the years, but also the many customers who have been fortunate enough to own one," said Maergner.

”We started building the Transporter, or T1, in Uitenhage in 1955, just four years after Beetle production started. Over the years it has transformed itself, from the T1 to the T2 in 1968, and finally to the T3 which appeared on the local market in 1980.

"More than any other South African transporter, it seems to have given expression to a lifestyle that is uniquely South African. All South Africans have some kind of bus story to share - whether it is going to a soccer or cricket match in a Microbus, taking a taxi ride or joining the family on holiday, we have all - on some occasion - had an opportunity to be part of the Microbus story.

"In the plant, things have been no different. Due to the perseverance, innovation and talent of all who have worked on the T3 Microbus, from operators, through the supervision and management, right through to design engineers, we have managed to keep the Microbus alive for so long – for many years holding its own against stiff competition in the marketplace.

"It is only due to declining economies of scale that we have to call it a day - and the decision by some key suppliers to discontinue producing certain of the components that we needed.

"I believe the proud tradition and values of the Microbus will live on, not only in our hearts, but also in the new generation imported front-wheel-drive T4 Caravelle, a very worthy successor," said Maergner.

The last range on offer from Volkswagen consists of four models - including the Microbus 2,3i, Microbus 2,6i, Caravelle 2,6i and the special edition Microbus 2,6i Active.

Will you miss 'Gus'?


Re: Goodbye Gus - benniebez - 01-21-2012 07:58 PM

when was this ending dated ? :cry:

Goodbye Gus - deanace - 01-21-2012 08:07 PM

the last bus's were sold in 2003
so this is sometime in 2002

Re: Goodbye Gus - Russel - 01-21-2012 09:05 PM

I think it was June 2002.
A very sad day.

Re: Goodbye Gus - Willie - 01-21-2012 09:14 PM

What puts me off about this is the availability of spare parts. You can take any 1980's Mercedes Bence to the agencies & get
all the spares you want, but even though there are still lots of T3's on the road, VW can mostly not help you with spares. Luckily there are aftermarket suppliers that can, I battled to get simple stuff for my bus, and the journey haven't even
started yet.

Goodbye Gus - deanace - 01-22-2012 07:20 AM

luckily you are connected to the right people through this forum and should never suffer with spares

Re: Goodbye Gus - BosBus - 01-22-2012 09:50 AM

Yes, truly a sad day when production of these vehicles ended. More so with the the stopping of production of the Syncro. All the people that I come into contact with that knows the Syncro, cannot believe that production was ever stopped and that so few were actually built. There are a lot of people in SA that never even knew that the Syncro actually existed and are amazed that it is a 4x4 Kombi and very capable off-road. It forms a great conversation piece when approached by total strangers when you stop somewhere with a Syncro. Fortunately that 265000 vans of various designs were built in SA and that donor vehicles and parts are available through dedicated people like Stuart and Dean who make it their life ambition to source and salvage as many as possible of these icons. The King is dead, long live the SYNCRO.... Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin